A machete-wielding terrorist trying to enter the Louvre museum in Paris shouted “Allahu Akbar” before being shot and eliminated by French security forces.
The Louvre art gallery in Paris has been evacuated, amid reports a French soldier opened fire after being attacked.
A terror probe has been launched in Paris after a machete-wielding Muslim terrorist was shot after trying to attack four soldiers outside the Louvre.
The terrorist was shot five times in the stomach and is in a critical condition.
He was shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ according to the Paris prefect.
After being refused entry, he pulled out the weapon and was shot by a soldier, officials have confirmed. A solider is believed to have suffered a head injury.
Streets around the Louvre in the French capital have been evacuated, and it has been branded a ‘serious security incident’ by the interior ministry.
A second Muslim has been arrested after ‘acting suspiciously’ close to the scene, but it is not known if he is linked to the attack.
French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has described the attack as ‘terrorist in nature’.
Interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the the identity and nationality of the suspect are not yet known. Interior minister Bruno Le Roux has cut short a trip to the Dordogne and is set to visit the injured soldier this afternoon.
An estimated 1,250 people were inside the famous art gallery, home to the Mona Lisa, when the shooting happened. Pictures from inside the museum shows schoolchildren cowering during the emergency lockdown.
Soldiers patrolling as part of France’s ongoing State of Emergency stopped the terrorist getting into the building shortly after 9am.
‘He was carrying a suitcase and was refused access,’ said a police source at the scene. ‘The man immediately withdrew a knife, and attacked.
‘It was at this moment that a soldier used his weapon to disable the men, who was wounded. The area has been evacuated.’
A spokesman for the military force that patrols key sites in Paris said the four-man patrol of soldiers tried to fight off the terrorist before they opened fire.
Benoit Brulon said a soldier who was slightly injured by the terrorist was not the soldier who opened fire.
The terrorist is in a ‘serious condition’, officials have said.
Michel Cadot, the Paris prefect, said at the scene: ‘Emergency workers are currently trying to revive him.
‘He was shot five times in the stomach, but is still alive. A soldier was also injured.’
Cadot said the attack happened at the top of an escalator that leads down into the shopping complex.
He said the knifeman ‘appeared to be acting alone’, and that the words used pointed to extremist terrorism.
Cadot said the soldier had to ‘neutralise the attacker’ after the soldier was lightly injured by the assailant.
The terrorist’s rucksack was searched, but there was no sign of any explosives.